• road markings leading to a building

      Pasadena City Hall (Photo – Gareth Peries)

      At the January 25th Bungalow Heaven Candidate Forum Mayor Gordo and Councilmember Williams responded to 1 question about Pasadena’s Climate Emergency Resolution 9977 with 8 false statements.

      By Cynthia Cannady

      1. Mayor Gordo claimed that Pasadena is already doing a great job, with 54% of its electricity from renewable energy sources. That’s not true. The Pasadena 2022 Power Content Label shows 27.7% renewables and PWP’s Annual Report for 2022 claims 40%.
      2. Councilmember Williams stated that Resolution 9977 sets a 100% “carbon free” goal for our electricity while “zero carbon is what the state has.” She also says those two terms are different. That’s not true. Carbon free and zero carbon mean the same thing and California law for electric power and Pasadena’s Resolution both use the same standard.
      1. Both Gordo and Williams claimed that Pasadena Water and Power is “on track” to achieve 100% zero carbon electric power by 2028. That’s not true. PWP’s resource plan assumes that in 2028 only 55% of Pasadena’s electricity will be from carbon free sources.
      1. Gordo and Williams stated that carbon free electric power will “increase your rates” 25% “year upon year for the foreseeable future” “compounded.” That’s not true. Analysis of the most expensive PWP planning scenario showed an annual increase of 3.2%. This is less than the increase ratepayers experienced in 2023 caused partially by PWP’s dependence on gas generated electricity and gas price volatility. Keeping future rates reasonable will require changes in the way we invest in and manage electric power.
      1. Williams stated we should focus less on electric power because greenhouse gas emissions from electric power make up only 10% of California’s total. That’s not true. The correct percentage is 16% in California and 25% nationwide, and those percentages are increasing as we electrify vehicles and buildings.
      1. Williams claimed that Pasadena is the only city in the country with a goal of 100% carbon free electric power by 2030. That’s not true. Several American cities have already achieved that goal; others mandate it by 2030 or 2035 (Sacramento, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Denver).
      1. Williams stated that 100% carbon free electric power is “physically impossible.” That’s not true. Even PWP staff stated in a City Council meeting that 100% carbon free electric power by December 2030 is achievable. If Williams thought the only operative paragraph in Resolution 9977 was impossible, why did she vote for it?
      2. Williams claimed that she “led” the passage of Pasadena’s Climate Emergency Resolution 9977. That’s not true. Williams opposed the 100% carbon free electric power goal but decided to support it 2 days before the vote. Two days after the passage of the Resolution she claimed at a public meeting that it was her idea. In fact, the proposal for a Climate Emergency Resolution originated with the League of Women Voters for the Pasadena Area, and from the Boards of the Pasadena Unified School District and Pasadena City College both of which unanimously supported the 100% carbon free goal. Since then, Councilmember Williams has executed a dizzying series of flip flops that would impress Simone Biles, alternately claiming that she led the passage of Resolution 9977 (in an application for endorsement by an environmental organization and in multiple public statements) and then attacking the carbon free goal of Resolution 9977 (“Nope, it won’t work.”)

      Finding our way in this dangerous time of climate crisis means that we must be careful about the facts and scrutinize them like our lives depend on it. Because they do.

      Cynthia Cannady is a member of the Bars of California and the District of Columbia, served on the Pasadena Stakeholder Technical Advisory Group for the Integrated Resource Plan, and is co- Chair of the PASADENA 100 Coalition.

       

       

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